Jenni-Eiermann, S. & L. Jenni (2003)

    Interdependence of flight and stopover in migrating birds: possible effects of metabolic constraints during refueling on flight metabolism.

    Further information

    S. 293–306 in: Berthold, P., E. Gwinner & E. Sonnenschein (eds.): Avian Migration. Springer, Berlin



    The intention of this, admittedly hypothetical and exploratory paper, was to demonstrate that there are substantial reasons to suggest that metabolic and physiological constraints during stopover influence the metabolism during flight (A in Fig. 1).

    We suggest that there are metabolic (nutritional) constraints operating during energy storage which determine the composition of energy stores (ratio of protein to lipids) and further that the composition of the stores deposited determines the composition of fuels catabolised during flight. While the latter is difficult to investigate (except in windtunnel studies), the effect of food composition on energy store composition is more easily studied. The question is whether migrant birds with extremely rapid deposition of huge amounts of energy stores are able to control the composition of their stores irrespective of food composition, or whether the composition of stores is determined by metabolic or nutritional constraints. In this latter case, the availability of different food types and the behavioural reactions of birds (e.g. food selection, habitat selection) will have more important effects on stopover ecology and migration strategies than currently believed.